Andrew Thorne has graced these pages under a few different guises. He first came to my attention in Modern Chair– a collaboration between him and another veteran of the NZ music scene, Wayne Bell. Modern Chair can best be described (and indeed have been) – as dirty, stomping squalls of pure joy laced with a healthy attitude redolent of sweaty leather jackets and disdainful sneers (see review of EP ‘Can’t Look Back’ here). He returned with a solo self-titled EP under the curious moniker of Stingy Brim, with a touch more guitar, a little less electronica and a comforting layer of Beatlesque harmonies (see interview and review here).
Thorne is now back with a new band – Silk Cut – collaborating with Aidan Phillips (basses, voice), with Mike Burrows (drums, voice) and Tom Irvine (guitars, voice) – and turning his songwriting craft to a shoegaze dream pop oeuvre. And as with anything produced by Thorne, you know it’s going to be done well.
Two EPs are planned to be released – the first ‘Astronaut’ on 12 September 2021 – and as a statement if intent, a single ‘Getting in Close’ has been unveiled.
The band says of Silk Cut that what they produce is the product of simply thinking out loud:
Drawing on (an) affection for 60’s and 70’s British TV and early 90’s shoegaze, (we) are at once eccentric and perfectly normal. (Our) themes are arbitrary, as if having volunteered ourselves – UFOs, shipwrecks, betrayal, obsession, comic book detectives, apparitions. Recorded with a load of reverb and harmony, we present like echo-chamber daydreams. Silk Cut are either a fresh start or a continuation, depending on how you look at it …
I would call it a breath of fresh air in a burgeoning genre.
Reverberated, chorused, delayed guitars set out a crystalline razor-sharp edge with a beautifully melancholic refrain against a star-studded firmament. Thorne’s voice is cool and studied, slightly distanced while the pace ebbs and flows with a delicious liquidity. This is a gorgeous, celestial tune – filled with a yearning euphoria and Thorne’s unerring ability to craft indelible melodies.
The accompanying video captures the dreamy reverie – a mesmerising collage of images and colours:
A rather stunning debut, but not surprising considering the talent behind it.
The single is available through all the usual download/streaming sights. I think. Give Silk Cut some love here.